Friday, June 01, 2007

Addendum to yesterday’s post

Although no one has called me on it yet, allow me to clarify something. I am not anti-religion. I am anti-deception. I am anti-idiocy. I am very pro-intelligence. And a creationist “museum” just sets me off. Museums are supposed to be places of education. Where you discover and learn new things.

When we were in Ottawa in April we went to the War Museum. It was a fascinating building with more information than we could absorb in the time we had. I recommend it to anyone visiting Ottawa. The same thing goes for the Museum of Civilization. And there’s something about Creationists bizarre delusions being made all nice and reputable by attaching the word “museum” to it that sets my blood pressure off. It sullies and tarnishes thousands of museums across the world that do good work.

My OED defines Museum as “a building in which objects of historical or scientific interest are stored and exhibited.” An exhibit with dinosaurs along with Adam and Eve sounds like something P.J Barnum might try to do if he was drunk and desperate for money.

That’s what infuriates me about Creationists, in case the previous rant hadn’t already clued you in.

I try to retain an open mind to most religious beliefs. I’ve mocked Catholics in the past, but it’s never been seriously mean. And besides, my jabs are mild compared to what most Catholics I know are capable of when it comes to commenting on their religion.

My ever evolving belief system tends to work like this: As a species we are far too hopelessly primitive to understand what kind of being might have created something as complex as the universe. We’re not even close to understanding a sliver of the complexity of the universe. If something that vast, amazing and complicated was created by...something, how can we even begin to think we could grasp it? It is beyond our comprehension. It will be, barring an unexpected spurt in evolution, for thousands, if not millions of years. As a species we may never understand. As humans living in the present, we will never understand. We are not remotely close to being smart enough. We’re not...evolved enough. Ironic, eh?

And I appreciate the need to strive, to try and figure it all out. That’s what scientists and philosophers are there for. Take a theory, throw it against the wall and see what sticks. I even have some empathy for people who desperately need to believe that there is a higher power guiding their life, just so things make sense. Just so they can have some comfort when things go wrong. If they want to believe that and it comforts them and does no harm to others or society, then I have no problem with it. But it’s the Fundamentalists in any religion scare me. I’ve yet to hear of or meet a rational, open-minded one. And Creationists are fundamentalists.

But I’ve long believed that with so many differing and conflicting views on the nature of the cosmos, that anyone at this point telling you they have the definitive answer is selling you a bag of goods.

And anybody telling you the world is 6,000 years old is selling you something even Barnum wouldn’t try to hock.

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